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Star fish fossil at the Museo di Storia Naturale in Milan

It rained in the very early morning and now again at dusk.  The day was by turn, cool, sunny, cloudy, hot and muggy.  What of my mood can I blame on the weather?

Julia and I continue to work on our gardens.  We are weeding and cleaning the back beds.  I am making space for some of what must be moved.  I’ve not heard back from the inspector who told me he would call back in regards to an extension of time before imposing a fine to give me time to transplant.  I hesitate calling in case the answer is not what I want to hear.  In the meantime, my across the street neighbor received a complaint similar to mine.  Their terrace garden is considerably smaller and their plants, although over 24” are all perennials whose final height is only in place for a few weeks.  Someone on the neighborhood yahoo group has taken to calling he who is complaining the garden gestapo.  I am almost more angry about this second complaint.  No, not quite true.  I am angry over my complaint as well.  I am still muttering as I garden and doing a fair bit of blaming.

There is a call in the group for someone to take the lead and fight this with the help of our alder.  When I am in the garden, I am almost motivated.  The problem is that even fighting regulations would not relieve me of the task of getting all the offending plants out of the terrace beds.  I don’t like the idea that there is someone out there controlling the streets.  I don’t like the idea that my terrace garden beds will one day be flat boring lawns like all the rest.

On the therapy front:  A discussion with the IDS director yielded three transitional sessions, two last week and one next week.  Julia was not keen on going to the first, she was sad and hurt.  But after that one, she agreed to the other two.  This is hardly preparation for school that begins next Friday.

I have been on the phone with every provider in Madison who might have something for Julia.  Some have waiting lists and I am now on three lists.  I had one intake session last week and another one next week.  Everyone is moving as quickly as they can but for each place there needs to be a referral from a physician, a request for insurance coverage, an intake interview and tour and an evaluation, before any recommendation for therapist or group placement is made.  The speed feels glacial. It is glacial, because even after that whole procedure, there may be no room in a group, or the existing group is not right for Julia, or the group might begin in November.   Added to this, I wonder if we should just go back to the speech therapist we had although I will need a referral for that and enter into the draconian procedure for making appointments that the clinic that I like uses.  Finally, there is attachment/trauma therapy and cello lessons to schedule and no idea of when to schedule them.  Everyone wants commitment from us.  I don’t want to lose what we do that enriches our lives

Yes, I am grumpy.  The mood is akin to frustration and overwhelm, but not really either.  Just grumpy.

And I am feeling yesterday today.  Yesterday was my wedding anniversary.  It is one of those private memorial days that few people know about.  I am no longer married and so is there still an anniversary?  I didn’t seem to have any reaction yesterday.  I went about my day waiting for something to hit me and by the end felt that I had escaped unscathed.

Time as the healer.  How close it can be to sleep.  Sleep can take pain away for the length of a nap or a night.  Time works slower. Slowly the intensity of feeling retreat but the fossils of the life that once was remain.  Time can work like a bad night’s sleep.

What hit today added to the grumpies today.

I had lunch in London with a friend whose wife died a bit more than two years ago.  We touched briefly on the process of grieving, helpful friends and the new normal life.  We exchanged an email a week later.  I thanking him for lunch.  I had unintentionally written on his wife’s birthday and he was sitting with that.  Yesterday, for a number of moments, I wanted to write him and explain how he should cherish his days of grieving.  He is still close enough to viscerally remember, almost close enough to close his eyes and make it real.  My powers of making real have dimmed.   I know there was a time of love, but I can no longer remember what it actually felt like. I have the pictures and the daughters, but I can wonder sometimes, today specifically, if I conjured it.  It exists like some intense nighttime dream, the kind that feels real, the remnants like smoke following into the day.  Like a fossil of what was, an impression that only exists in stone.

But how could I possibly say anything like that to someone grieving.

And so, with the grumpies for the day, all of use I could do was cook and put by a few things — a big pot of chili and pans of roasting tomatoes for bisque.  Most of both dishes will go into the freezer.  And Julia tore apart every box containing legos and dinosaurs and play mobile stuff.  She claims to be sorting it all and it is all over the study floor although there doesn’t seem to be any intentional piling.

Tonight, she decided to cut her nails by herself.  At first, I was going to insist on doing it like I always do, quickly and efficiently.  Julia takes forever with that sort of task.  But this is self care she is volunteering for.  Why step in?

It was a quiet day and hopefully tonight’s sleep was work some magic.